Qua Humbug

"Turn from the glittering bribe thy scornful eye / Nor sell for gold what gold could never buy."

“Sexual autonomy is increasingly more important to contemporary Americans than religious liberty, which was one of the founding principles of our nation. What we call “traditional Christians” in our discourse refers to what 50 years ago would have simply been called “Christians,” given that there was no dramatic dissent among the various Christian sects and churches on sexual morality. So, when we say that we are living through the transformation of traditional Christianity from majority to minority status, what we’re really saying is that the Sexual Revolution has conquered Christianity in America, and that Christians who still believe about sex more or less what nearly all Christians for over 19 centuries believed are becoming a declining population that will be seen as as reactionary weirdos.”


Experts: “We can just keep using the chairs we have.”

Pay absorption!

Attention is something that must be paid. Paying attention is not unrelated to discharging a debt, to offering tribute, to giving the entity that demands the attention something akin to cash. When you tell someone to pay attention, you are trying to take something from him, something that, one might assume, he does not wish to give: his focus, his presence of mind, his full being. Is it possible that paying attention is akin to paying tribute? When someone asks you to pay attention, he is imposing authority on you. Perhaps it is not that we can’t get ourselves to focus on this or that matter, but simply that offering attention is felt as a challenge, a burden. “I made myself pay attention, even though what he was saying was boring.” “It wasn’t easy to pay attention to him, but I did.” There’s a tribute involved. There’s a tax. There’s a debt. Do you understand? Are you paying attention to me? We can take satisfaction in paying a bill, or getting rid of a debt, but it is never exactly a joy.


I’d say […] that the deep opposite of attention isn’t distraction, but absorption. No one ever tells you to “pay absorption.” Absorption is what occurs when you immerse yourself in something you love doing. The artist and the poet and the philosopher and the scientist become absorbed. The kind doctor becomes absorbed in her patient; the teacher becomes absorbed in his class presentation. The musician becomes absorbed in the fugue. When that happens, time stops and one lives in an ongoing present. One feels whole and at one with oneself. The little boy drawing with his pad on the floor, tongue sticking out from one side of his mouth, is a picture of absorption. He is not really paying attention. He is being absorbed. What is happiness? W. H. Auden answered the question quite simply: Happiness comes in absorption.

[Mark Edmundson in The Hedgehog Review 16.2 (Summer 2014)]

(Source: iasc-culture.org)


Via GFOP @squires_david


Via GFOP @squires_david

World is suddener than we fancy it

The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes -
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one’s hands -
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.

[Louis Macneice, “Snow”]

Here's a bit by me on beauty & the World Cup

Tremendous sea bass.

fishy musiciansÉvrart de Conty, Les Échecs amoureux, France 1496-1498.
BnF, Français 143, fol. 130v

Tremendous sea bass.


fishy musicians

Évrart de Conty, Les Échecs amoureux, France 1496-1498.

BnF, Français 143, fol. 130v


How to trim your dragon. 
—Sean, Sideshow


How to trim your dragon. 

—Sean, Sideshow

(via publicradiointernational)


The Drinkable Book: Clean water for the masses

Books and water are usually not so good a mix but The Drinkable Book is a game-changer. Created by DDB for Water Is Life The Drinkable Book is a complete water purification device in which each page is printed with warnings and tips while being smothered in bacteria-killing silver nanoparticles.

Tear out a page, place it in the 3D printed slipcase, pour the dirty water over it and there you go - drinkable water!

About the project:

The Drinkable Book is a life saving tool that filters water and teaches
proper sanitation & hygiene to those in the developing world.

Each book is printed in two languages on technologically advanced
filter paper, capable of killing deadly waterborne diseases. And each page
is coated with silver nanoparticles, whose ions actively kill diseases
like cholera, typhoid and E. coli.

Once water is passed through the filter, bacteria count is reduced
by over 99.99%, making the filtered water comparable to tap water
in the United States of America.

The paper costs only pennies to produce, making it by far the
cheapest option on the market. Each filter is capable of giving
someone up to 30 days worth of clean water. And each book is
capable of providing someone with clean water for up to 4 years

(source: The Tacoma Daily News, December 25, 1894.)

(source: The Tacoma Daily News, December 25, 1894.)

(Source: yeoldenews)